SALT LAKE CITY — After a long discussion, a House committee decided to table a bill that would allow restricted individuals, including convicted felons, to have archery equipment for lawful hunting and recreational purposes.
Members of the House Judiciary Committee said they liked the intent of the HB268, but they were concerned about the language and enforcement.
Restricted individuals aren't allowed to possess or use a "dangerous weapon," but Rep. Brian Greene, R-Pleasant Grove, is looking to redefine what constitutes a dangerous weapon.
An item that can be used unlawfully to inflict serious injury is designated as a dangerous weapon. The bill states that only a firearm could be considered a "de facto dangerous weapon."
Archery equipment, including crossbows, would be specifically excluded from the category of dangerous weapon.
"It isn’t a violation of the restricted person restrictions for those individuals to use or possess archery equipment for lawful hunting and lawful target shooting," Greene said. "So if they’re poaching, if they’re doing something illegal with that archery equipment, then it would be a dangerous weapon."
Greene added that many people travel out of state, where they can legally hunt with archery equipment.
Steven Athy, a restricted individual who attended the committee meeting, said his mistake five years ago as an 18-year-old is keeping him from participating with his family in their hobby.
"Hunting is such a part of our heritage here in the West. I would think it appropriate to provide our citizens with this opportunity," said Greene, who also identified himself as a hunter.